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Mylan the RIP-OFF financial Gouger asking the public to pay over $600
for a $10 squirt of a natural human adrenaline to avoid allergic reaction
to a bee sting or similar situation is unconscionable.

I would think a 3D printer could easily make the device by almost anyone with access to a clean room.


The epinephrin contained in one of those cost one dollar and the plastic housing plus needle probably less than 50cents it's rediculous

I had a inert trainer that looked just like that for practicing atropine injections.

Before the auto injector they had the syrette, which is a lot cheaper to manufacture and doesn't require the public to mix medicine like a syringe would.

But the advantage of the auto injector is you don't have to think about shoving a 2 inch needle into someone's large muscle.



1 year ago

I've gotten four epi pens for my son in the past two years. they haven't cost me anything because I used the coupon on the manufacturer's website.

in my limited experience, 3d printed stuff is rather porous. Not conducive to tight plumbing fittings, nor to sterile surfaces.

Apart from the fact that you got lost on the second page here: did you know resin printers are also 3D printers? ;)
For obvious reasons noone would really try to print a pen like this, there are better ways to produce this stuff.
Question is: would you really trust something you made in your workshop if your life depends on it?
At least I would still have my doubts the dose might one day be a total overkill due to failure or that nothing at all comes out when I need it.

Would it be bad of me to gloat?

A prescription in the UK costs £8.40, no matter what the medication

and only if you are able to pay - children and those in financial need do not pay.

I often hear Americans (on other sites) claim that "social medicine", paid for through taxes, is too much like communism, an excess of government interference, but my son has had 15 years of intensive treatment for a kidney condition - several bouts of surgery, highly expensive medication, and it has not cost us anything. We discovered that his latest medication would cost £900 per month, we're it not for the NHS.

Almost every member of my family has had treatment that would cost us tens or hundreds of thousands of pounds, but never received a bill.

Forgive me getting on my high horse, but limiting the treatment given to an individual based purely on their ability to pay is not a sign of a civilised nation.

Yes, but how does the tax rate compare a.k.a. who's paying for those procedures that you aren't paying for?

Everybody over 18, and earning over £155 ($207), you pay 12% of your income.

The vast majority don't complain about the NI contribution, because anybody could need it at any time, for almost anything.

We were in San Francisco 4 years ago, and our youngest had an episode with his kidney condition. For a 5 minute drive in an ambulance, ten minutes with a doctor, and two oral morphine tablets, we were sent a bill for over $1200 (covered by our travel insurance).

Given that benchmark, I shudder to think how much we'd have been charged for the birth of our two sons, my appendectomy, my son's 15 years of kidney treatment, my mother's treatment to fix a broken back, and treat her polio (& post-polio syndrome), my father's numerous skin-cancer operations, the rebuilding of his shoulder after a cycling accident, and the 18 months of surgery, chemotherapy and the use of two oxygen concentrators my sister had before she passed away.

Well, it only shows a wealthy country.
Wait till unemployment kicks in, some crown projects fail or a bigger natural disaster hits.
Same for the number of people who are in retirement, have more people not working and getting benefits than supplying taxes and someone needs to pay th bills.
Once the money runs low health care is usually the first place to do the culling.
I have seen health care system going from free and fast to something advertised as better and fair by the gouvernment.
The result is low income owners struggle to pay for their meds and unless you have private insurance as well you might wait years for an operation.
You are fortunate to be in a country that can afford "wasting" money but that might not be the case forever...
Why do you think all these refugees all migrate to countries with good social security and health care?
They could quite easy invade south america but why bother if there are much easier "solutions" available.
Those epi pens and other meds are sold for big bucks to wealthy countries, you won't find them in so called third world countries or those battling inflation for ages.

Well, it's been running successfully since 1948...

I've always thought of it as the USA subsidizing the rest of the world when it comes to medical research. I feel the reason the UK, Canada, etc. can purchase medicine at low rates is because the development cost is covered by Americans. I bet if the USA followed the same policy, the flow of money into new research would dwindle. I'm not defending epipen or any other drug price. I just thought I would provide a counter to "social medicine" argument.

Anyway, I think this is a cool project and I hope to see the innovative minds on instructables suggest lower cost alternatives.

The wholesale cost of a dose of epinephrine, in the US, is 10-95 cents.

The current high price in the US is purely a result of US medical services being funded by profits instead of taxes.

about the cost of epinephrine. I'm not defending
Mylan, Turing Pharmaceutical or any other drug companies. Good or bad, my only point was that the US
health care industry partially subsidizes Europe's health care costs. With that, drug companies will accept the
lower negotiated prices in the UK as long as the US keeps paying the high rate.

No, the cost to the UK patient is minimal/zero at point of need, but the cost is still borne by the UK National Insurance (deducted from our wages) contributors. We still pay the full price, but as a nation.

The doctors aren't driven by profit, and the patients are not hindered by potential costs - the money is between hospital managers, the government and the pharmaceutical companies.

Well, the first article is wrong in stating that EU governments set prices - the companies offer drugs at a price, and the government decide whether to buy it or not.

What that articles is really saying is that the US system, where the customer (individual hospitals or insurance companies) is smaller than the seller, then the customer comes off worse than when the customer is larger (a whole government).

It's a simple fact of life, though, that even if other countries suddenly agreed to whatever the drug companies demanded, the price in the US would not go down, the corporation's profits would just go up.

Lower cost alternatives are not that hard to produce.
The pen itself is only worth a few cents and I am sure there is a company in asia willing to throw out thausands at low prices.
Problem is the legal side of things and obtaining the meds to start with.
At least in AU it is next to impossible to get insulin in bottles or similar.
Pens and pumps are the way to go.
My sister needs these things too so I already tried looking into the problem for a long time.
One re-usable approach I can think of is to use darts, you know these things the vet blows at the lion because the guy is too scared to get near the beast with a needle.
The variations I encountered so far either use a spring to push the meds in or a pressurised reservoir, spring power is prefered for home use though ;)
This solves the feeding problem, the dosage is much harder to accomplish...
Here I could think off a rotating valve with another reservoir the size of the injection needed.
Think of it as a barrel with a spring powered hole to hold the meds.
The greater force in the syringe end pushes the reservoir spring down and fills it.
When injected you turn or let the barrel turn and the dose goes in.

Another alternative would be to hack an original epipen and make it re-usable.
Problem here is that the plastic used does not stick to any glue I have at hand - and got a few here...
Next thing is that at least those multi dosage pens are designed for single use only, my attempts to reload them all failed as either something broke or refused to budge.

And once we get something working fine it still leaves us with the hygine problem - not everyone is willing or capable to sterilise all the equippment to actually re-use something like a hacked pen....

I agree on the costs but you have to consider that there are countries that either can't afford this or simply refuse to provide such cover.
Here in AU it is a similar story, if you are on gouvernment benefits the costs for meds are capped.
Around 6 bucks per drug you get at the pharmacy and for low incomes the total yearly amount is capped.
But this only goes as far as the drugs you want or need are included in the PBS.
As with most things generic copies don't work the same for everyone, which can mean you need to pay the difference in price yourself.
"Free" health care often also means people won't actually try to find or get back into employment.
A full dental treatment to restore your smile can set you back a few thausand bucks, without a job you get it for free (if you can spare the time on the waiting list).
And as with all things big and small: Someone has to pay for all of this, usually the working population through taxes.
In some countries you are lucky to find a qualified doc in time, so don't expect free care here ;)


Seems some companies care more about their own profit than about patients :(

aren't people just getting syringes now, to avoid the cost increase?

As a certified EMT 10 years ago, and I believe I could draw 2CC and inject into a big muscle under the pressure of time constraint.

But the average citizen parent would have a problem using a standard syringe see the kit below.


Sadly not.
My sister is in the same boat here.
She can't tolerate insulin from pigs and the aritficial stuff shows next to nothing.
Only the human insulin helps her properly.
But since it is next to impossible to obtain...
When it comes to certain medications you need to consider storage, contamination and of course misuse.
And in a life threatening situation: Would you trust a stranger that he can push your pen into some flesh? I would say chances are good...
But would you trust the same guy to be capable of preparing a syringe and to inject the right amount into your skin? I would not like my chances here...

Still nothing can justify the 600 bucks for that single pen....

The price is not for the plastic but what for that stuff inside ;)
30ml of pure epinephrine cost around 60-100 bucks on the open market.
If you need it the non-artificial varant sources from humans the price goes to around 300-400 bucks for the same amount.
Most of this cost is reserved for tests, cleaning, equippment and of course the packaging to sell the stuff.

With those emergency pens you often pay to price for no other reason than to have it hand and ready for anyone to use.
Pull the cap, push it into the skin, done.
If you take kits for snake bites than the single dose from a doc can be around 400 bucks, not including monitoring and other medical things that might be required.
But if you need a kit for the bush, which usually contains generic antivenoms to treat a variety of snake bites you are set back close to 2 grand...

Just see it this way:
You buy a single resistor at your local store and pay 30 cents for it.
Go and get a full reel of 5000 or so and the single price drops below one cent per resistor.
Guess it comes down to how serious your condition is and how much you are willing to pay for peace of mind....